Labor in all dogs including Chihuahua starts at the end of gestation that can be of 63-66 days. Before start of labor, following signs can be observed in dogs.
Loss of appetite
Reduced rectal temperature below 100 F
Restlessness and pacing
When labor starts, dogs can be restless. She will also shake due to uterine contraction. She will strain to push puppy out. This condition can be of 6-24 hours. Delivery in dogs can take place in 2-6 hours depending upon litter size. It will be good to get help from the vet for whelping because delivery in dogs can be complicated.
How long do Chihuahua's carry their puppies. I think mine may be 3-4 weeks. She is a small chi and my min pin got her about 3-4 weeks ago. We had been protecting her and thought she was out of it. It was the first for both of them. I hope the puppies are not to big.
They frequently need c-sections. Did you do any of your prenatal care that helps with determining things like that and distress during labor? The third link is a quick run down of danger signs. Average gestation is 59 to 63 days from the first tie (calculator in 2nd link below) though can be a little earlier around 57 (earlier may be a bit of concern for puppy development) or up to 68 (time to be concerned and are more likely to need assistance or c-section at that length and more so on smaller breeds). Some of the standard prenatal care consists of things like confirmation by ultrasound or blood test earlier around 3 or 4 weeks to confirm and try and be sure she doesn't have something like pyometra and possibly STD if dogs weren't tested before breeding instead. Towards the end of pregnancy you will do an x-ray or ultrasound. This is where we try to evaluate for likelihood of difficulty and c-section based on the pups themselves and things like their size and rate of growth leading to the whelp and how many and if she is likely to run into difficulty from exhaustion and things if not known you are doing a C before even breeding based on breed. Knowing how many if not exact is exciting but also gives you an idea of when she's done or if there is a pup left to decay and cause infection and even helps evaluate distress when she has stopped or seems to tired to continue or there is too long a period in between pups and you know there are more during a free whelp and things like that so is imperative and invaluable (and standard) when whelping. During early labor the females temperature will drop to around 98. It is important to know when this occurs since if there are no pups within 24 hours of the temperature drop (active labor) there is likely a problem and the vet should be called (or if c-section that it is time to head in). If the pups are free whelped (non c-section) the dam is examined 24 hours after to be sure there are no complications (rupture, torsion, prolapse hemorrhage ect.) and retained placenta's or pups to cause deadly infection. She may need or benefit from an injection to help clean her out faster at that time (also to try and prevent infection). The veterinarian will usually go over the next steps and more common danger signs and problems (like mastitis and eclampsia) for the nursing stage at that time. Usually around 2 to 5 days the pups go in to the vet for a look over and to have dew claws removed. www.chihuahuaclubofamerica.com www.askabreeder.com drnelsonsveterinaryblog.com www.learntobreed.com www.dogbreedinfo.com www.terrificpets.com www.marvistavet.com www.marvistavet.com www.lowchensaustralia.com www.bullmastiffsonline.com www.wildheirlabradorrescue.org www.irvinevetservices.com www.dogfoodanalysis.com www.bornfreeusa.org